There is no denying that Sarah Darling is a phenomenal talent. There is also no denying that she is one of the kindest people in existence. Add these two things together, and there is no question why she is alternatively known as #AmericasDarling.
The most recent leg of Sarah’s musical journey includes a spot on ABC’s newest singing talent search, Rising Star. Sarah successfully made it through Round 1 of the show, acquiring far more than enough fan votes to keep her in the competition (more details on the show’s process are enclosed below). I was lucky enough to catch up with Sarah during this whirlwind adventure she is on to discuss her decision to join the cast of Rising Star, her experience on the show thus far, and what we can expect from this true darling in the week that lies ahead.
For those who don’t know, Sarah Darling made her start in country music in 2008. Despite the many years of hard work, dedication, and a catalog of beautiful music to show for it, Sarah hasn’t quite found the perfect path to travel to make all her dreams realities. After severing her relationship with an independent label (whom she was with for six years), Sarah experienced a slight lull in her career. “This past year was slower. I didn’t have as many gigs. Obviously I have my little company called ‘Sweet Darling’ and I was making lots of macarons, but I wasn’t fulfilled. My dream has always been to do music.”
So, when ABC’s Rising Star knocked on the door, Sarah was eager to answer. Looking for inspiration and a slight nudge to the next level, Sarah recognized this opportunity for exposure beyond that which she had experienced in the past. In auditioning for the show, Sarah took a leap of faith, as she had never considered a competition show before. But, when she heard about the unique platform of the show, she felt like it was something she should pursue. “I was really excited about this one because it’s done in real-time and the fans get to vote, and I just feel like that’s very legitimate. It’s very cool that the fans actually get to be a part of your journey, like right then and there. I was sold when I heard that.”
Sarah is no stranger to being in front of a video camera, considering she has quite the extensive music video collection, as well as an appearance on ABC’s The Bachelor, on her resume. However, the Rising Star experience is quite distinguishable from any other time she has been on the small screen. “I’ve never been a part . . . of a cast. It’s completely different, and to be a focus of something is really, really cool. It just makes you realize that everything counts. You always have to take every opportunity to its fullest.”
While Sarah can’t help but love her cast mates, she certainly realizes that they are, essentially, also her competitors. However, she is rooting for them and is in their corners wholeheartedly, even though the harsh reality is that everyone will eventually go home and only one of them can be ABC’s Rising Star. “It’s like a weird balance of trying . . . obviously you’re competing, but you do love these people because they help you get through such an interesting situation.” Sarah also described the “interesting situation” of taking the stage to perform on a live show as “intense!” Not expecting the agonizing “3-2-1” countdown, which Sarah equated to The Hunger Games, she found comfort in the fans’ faces that appeared on the giant wall that stood before her. “For me, the wall raised a little bit later and I could hear the energy on the other side of the stage. All the people started to pop up and then, of course, the wall finally went up and I saw all the judges on their feet. That really, that was like a really cool moment for me.”
In case you missed it, the moment Sarah is referring to is her debut performance on Rising Star, during which she covered Kacey Musgraves’ “Merry Go Round.” With Sarah’s own impressive repertoire of songs, it was expected that she might spotlight an original, but she surprised fans when she opted for a song by another artist. Sarah explained that she chose “Merry Go Round” because of its Grammy Award-winning notoriety, as well as its similarity to her own style. “I really pondered the thought of doing an original. I would love to do that one day.”
Sarah’s instincts surely paid off, as the wall raised and, ultimately, eighty-nine percent of the voting viewers “swiped blue” on their Rising Star app for yes (the show requires seventy percent to remain in the competition). When Sarah’s performance came to an end, she received feedback from the judging panel, which consists of fellow country artist, Brad Paisley, Ke$ha, and Ludacris. Though the eccentric group, each loved Sarah’s voice and recognized her innate talent. Sarah’s heart was especially warmed by the advice she received from Brad because “he got it. He was like ‘this is such a great song, you chose a great song.’ I loved having his support being in the country industry.” Sarah also valued the words and votes of the other judges, considering that they hail from startlingly different genres, yet were able to see and hear her potential as she performed. Based on what she heard from the judges, Sarah intends to return next time with “a song that really shows off my range.”
Other than a song that shows off her range, what can you expect from Sarah during her next performance? Well, first off, Sarah guarantees she will not be sitting on a stool! “I will be standing up, just singing my heart out. And I’ll be singing a good, good country song. I just don’t know which one yet, but it’s gonna have some power! Some power!” Sarah hinted that she has “some time” before she has to perform again, so it left me wondering if we will even see our country music darling this week. I guess we all better tune into ABC’s Rising Star on Sunday night at 9pm ET/8pm CT to find out!
So, other than tuning in and watching Sarah conquer that intimidating wall, how can you help ensure that America’s Darling stays in the competition? Make sure you download the Rising Star app (linked below) and take the time to vote during the show. In order to have the opportunity to vote, fans have to lock in ninety seconds before Sarah sings and then, once the performance begins, swipe blue for yes to log your vote in Sarah’s favor. You can also download Sarah’s performance of “Merry Go Round” on iTunes (as linked below) to forever savor her beautiful cover, though the download does not count as votes for the show.
In closing, Sarah expressed her sincere gratitude to her fans for supporting her throughout this process and the entirety of her career up to this point. “My fans literally are the biggest part of this process for me. They’re the most important part . . . Country fans are literally the most loyal fans. I’ve had so many people who have believed in me along the way. It’s like all of us; it’s a big journey for all of us together.”
To keep up with Sarah, her journey on Rising Star, and her country music career, make sure you are following her on Twitter @_SarahDarling. You can also follow her Rising Star team Twitter @_TeamDarling. Remember, in order to ensure that America’s Darling proceeds in the competition, you must have the app on your smart phones to log your votes live during Sarah’s performances. You can download the app by clicking here.
Thank you, once again, to the amazingly talented, sweet, and incomparable Sarah Darling for taking the time to catch up with #CMchat during this adventure. Stick with our team here at #CMchat for updates from Sarah throughout the competition and along her journey as she works toward becoming ABC’s first ever RISING STAR!
Follow me @JenSwirsky on Twitter and let me know what you thought of Sarah’s performance on Rising Star and what you hope is on her agenda for performances in the weeks to come!
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